‘Drive-through, no worries: Why a trip to Maccas is part of my daily ritual’

Apr 06, 2021
The Golden Arches offer more than just coffee and fast food. Source: Getty Images

There are lots of people who don’t spend money in fast food chain McDonald’s, in fact wouldn’t even fancy the menu on offer. For years I have stuck to the same few favourites, including fries, a fish fillet burger and a milkshake.

When the grandchildren were small — more than 20 years ago — it was a treat to go to ‘Maccas’ for a 30-cent small ice cream cone. They went to their friend’s parties there, in later years two grandchildren worked for the chain while at school and one stayed on for a year or two after school days finished.

Until McCafe started serving the coffee at the drive-through, I used to go in to buy coffee. However, as soon as good coffee was available along with a wider and tasty menu my lazy self lines up in a car queue to be served.

In retirement my husband and I travelled Australia extensively over 12 years. We went many a week without seeing a large town and most of the big country towns don’t have or don’t want the Golden Arches. We did appreciate a Maccas frappe or fries when we saw a town after weeks in the outback. It was a nice change from my cooking.

We had to go in to buy our meal because our motorhome wouldn’t fit through the drive-through. On the early mornings we set off on a long holiday hotcakes and a coffee were ate inside as we looked forward to the long days on the road and new places to see.

We have given our fair share in small donations to Ronald McDonald house, a charity close to our hearts. But in recent times Maccas has been more frequently my go-to place when my husband was in hospital and had rehabilitation for three months. We have a Maccas on the way to the hospital so a cappuccino and toasted banana bread the morning choice, eaten in the car park before facing what the doctors report would bring as things weren’t good.

He has liver failure, is prone to falls, and the main reason for the prolonged stay was a broken leg that had to be non-weight bearing for three months. By the time Christmas came around, he was in a rehab hospital further from home, but to my delight the most scenic route was through a national park down to a waterway where I spent time sipping my Maccas coffee and eating toasted banana bread through lonely tears while I pondered my lot of ‘why us?’ moments.

Luckily, watching the bush, boats and fishermen boasted my spirits and I managed to visit with a smile renewed also by many interesting podcasts I listened to while I drove to and fro. Hubby came home in February and our short visits out while he recuperated from another fall injuring his back were served by the coffee runs in the drive-through as he can’t sit upright for two long so easier to park at a view while we have our refreshments. I often make up thermos coffee if we go out a few times a week, other times I do coffee or tea to enjoy on our deck, we have a lovely bush view.

Our granddaughter had twin boys a few months ago. Before doing the hour long run to visit, a coffee or a frappe was the drink of choice for the drive, conveniently we pass a Maccas at the start of the trip.

Our son-in-law died recently after a long illness. My usual greeting before visiting my daughter is “has anyone done a coffee run today?” If not it’s off to Maccas before our catch-up.

You may think it’s all about the coffee, but it’s all about knowing before we face the day, be it a happy day or a not so happy day that a smile from the friendly staff in the drive-through who doesn’t know what’s going on our lives, will tell us to ‘have a nice day’. That means so much.

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Do you enjoy fast food? Is there somewhere that offers you customer service that brightens your day?

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